Okinawan Restaurant should be renamed O.K.iwanna. Go. And. Eat. Everyday. The decor imitates a hut and Huccalily had been to a restaurant in Tokyo that looked similar to this, complete with clothes hangers. (In fact, it was her Japanese friends who brought her to the Tokyo restaurant, known only to locals).
Jushi Onigari ($6)
The menu is longer than a short story, pages and pages which may be confusing. There are so many dishes, stir-fried, simmered, deep-fried, fish, pork and in miso broth. Very different from your usual sushi and sashimi Japanese food. Okinawan food seemed to be more focussed on cooking, especially simmering, and pork dishes.
Cold Noodle with Sesame Sauce ($13.60)
We went at a not-three-not-four (不三不四) time, after lunch but not yet dinner. So we didn’t order much. The cold noodle had a sesame sauce that was thick, creamy and sweet, used in some of the Japanese salads. The noodles were soggy (which is how I like my noodles) and the crunchy vegetables provided a textural contrast. Cooling to eat in Singapore’s weather.
Simmered Pork-Belly Soup Noodle ($6.60/$8.80)
A very tiny serving of pork-belly soup noodle was equally excellent but may take a few mouthfuls to discover its wonder. Not your usual powerful ramen broth, the broth was subtle like a fleet-footed thief in the night. Before you know it, it has crept and possessed you.
This is really a great restaurant and we’d like to return and try more dishes.
Nirai Kanai Okinawan Restaurant
177 River Valley Road
#B1-01 Liang Court Shopping Centre
T: 6339 4811
M-F: 12-3pm; 6-11pm
Rating: 3.639/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.